Obama made a speech to the Millennium Development Goals Summit last week that has been grabbing lots of attention. During the speech he announced plans that have been described as “ambitious, even radical”. Read the write up on Politics Daily website “Obama’s Radical Foreign Policy Plan: The Goal is Development, Not Aid” (thanks for the link Victoria)
A couple of quotes of particular interest are below. For those who prefer to read the transcript of the speech visit http://www.america.gov/st/texttrans-english/2010/September/20100922172556su0.2969934.html#ixzz10oQunWEH
“Remembering the lessons of the Green Revolution, we’re expanding scientific collaboration with other countries and investing in game-changing science and technology to help spark historic leaps in development…
…Instead of simply handing out food, our food security initiative is helping countries like Guatemala and Rwanda and Bangladesh develop their agriculture and improve crop yields and help farmers get their products to market.”
The Food Security Initiative referred to is detailed on the White House press office website. They say that on the 22nd September 2010:
“…the President signed a Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, the first of its kind by a U.S. administration.”
Included on the site are 3 policy docs on 1) Climate Change 2) Global Food Security and 3) Global Health Initiative. The text for the Global Food Security can be access here http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/Food_Security_Fact_Sheet.pdf
From this document:
“ The President’s global food security initiative manifests the policy in a number of ways: … it engages traditional and non-traditional donors and the private sector to build needed multilateral capacities. The United States partnered with G-20 countries, developing nations, the World Bank and other multilateral organizations to establish the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, and mobilized public and private resources to scale up agricultural assistance to low-income countries. .
… it increases investment in and support for innovation by emphasizing research and development, and by improving the extension and dissemination of research and technology development to the hands of small scale farmers through new models of public and private extension; and
…FTF focuses on creating a foundation for sustainable economic growth by helping countries accelerate inclusive agriculture sector growth through improved agricultural productivity, expanded markets and trade, and increased economic resilience in vulnerable rural communities.”
It seems that in his speech Obama is using language about development aid in way that will resonate with the US voter. Let’s hope that the U.S, and the rest of the International community can put in the extra mile(s) to reach the MDG targets.
“We must not fail the billions who look to the international community to fulfil the promise of the Millennium Declaration for a better world” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon